A number of years ago a fictional story from an unknown source circulated on the internet. This is the way I remember it.
A deadly virus broke out in a distant part of the world. The virus was easily transmitted and led to terrible sickness and death within
days. As soon as the authorities verified the seriousness of the virus, they embarked on finding a cure. Meanwhile, the death toll mounted into the millions within a matter of months.
While extreme measures were taken, the virus continued to spread to other parts of the world. Widespread sickness and death quickly followed. Soon it became all too obvious that the entire human race faced extinction in the not too distant future. Not surprisingly, governments and health authorities pulled out all the stops as they frantically
raced to find a cure.
Finally, the experts found the virus had a weakness. Evidently a very rare blood type held the antibody necessary to manufacture an effective antidote for the deadly virus. A worldwide search began for anyone who might have this rare blood type.
While sickness and death continued to ravage the planet, a young boy was discovered who had the rare blood type needed to stop the pandemic. After rushing him to a hospital for further tests it was determined that the boy’s blood would enable an effective antidote for the virus to be quickly manufactured. As the encouraging news leaked out, the world finally had a reason for hope!
Meanwhile, the parents of the boy were told the ominous news. In order to get enough antibodies for the quantity of vaccines that would be needed, all of their son’s blood would be required. If the son didn’t immediately give up all his blood, the world would perish before enough vaccine could be produced and disseminated.
Incredibly, the parents broke down and gave the doctors permission to take their son’s lifeblood, all of it. After exchanging heart wrenching goodbyes with their innocent child, the parents watched their only son’s life slip away while his precious blood was taken from him. While the rest of the world rejoiced, these parents sobbed uncontrollably.
True to the promise of the experts, the vaccine stopped the spread of the deadly virus and mankind was spared extinction. As the world began to work through the rebuilding process, many suggested a worldwide holiday to remember the sacrifice that had been made for their salvation.
Once established, the first few observances of this holiday were quite meaningful. But as the years and generations marched on, the holiday soon became like so many other holidays. Some extra time off work, and an occasion to enjoy more family outings. Few people took the time to stop and remember that if the son hadn’t died, they wouldn’t have lived.
As it turns out, not all of this story was fiction.